Tadpoles – Happy New Year

These are the Tadpoles of IC-410.  They seem appropriate for the New Year when we are celebrating a fresh start or a new beginning.  This emission nebula lies about 12000 light years away, and the Tadpoles are about 10 light years long.  This is a stacked composite of 17 half hour h-alpha exposures taken through my 5 inch Astro-Physics Starfire refractor with a .75 focal reducer.


Orion Nebula Work in Progress

This time of year Orion is visible all night long. It rises in the Eastern sky at about 6:30pm, it reaches its highest point at an altitude of about 50 degrees in the Southern sky at around midnight, and it sets in the West at about 6:00 AM. Since it measures a little more than one degree square, you can see it with binoculars. This is a stacked composite of eleven 30 minute H-Alpha images. My goal with this image will be to enhance the details over time. With clouds in the sky, it can take awhile.



M33 – Triangulum Galaxy

It is a little easier to image galaxies since you can use simple RGB filters.  This was done with a Luminance filter and I plan to add the red, green and blue later.  M33 is a part of the local group of Galaxies which includes Andromeda.  It is “only” about 3 million light years from earth.  The total of the stacked exposures was about five hours.




Elephant Trunks Nebula – IC 1396 – Color

My earlier greyscale photo of this nebula was derived from 15 one hour exposures through an H-Alpha filter which were used as the red channel in this color image.. An additional 11 half hour images were taken through an OIII filter for the blue channel. An RGB color image usually uses three different monochrome images. In this case, however, the third color (green) was synthesized from the first two red and blue channels. That saves the time that would be necessary to take images through a third filter and not much is lost since most of the detail in this nebula can be found in the H-alpha and OIII wavelengths. It would be ideal to have a few more images to stack for a smoother image, but this nebula is now in an area of the sky where long imaging sessions are no longer feasible. I may have to wait until next year to obtain more depth in this image.